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Our top ten blogs on 2014. No 3: Jill Kirby on Isabel Hardman


Isabel Hardman has succumbed to groupthink as she adds her voice to the clamour for cheap childcare. Her op-ed in today’s Telegraph is as shallow as it is cliche-laden.

Does she not grasp that mothers choose grandparent care because they trust their own mothers and want their children to be loved by their “carers”, not parked in institutions?

As a Conservative, does Hardman think it a good idea for government to pour even more £millions into nurseries that keep children away from their homes and families from dawn til dusk?

Does it not occur to her that most mothers of young children are not focused on getting cheap childcare but on doing what is best for their children? And that many feel pressured to deny that commendable instinct, a pressure that is only increased by thoughtless (and heartless) opinion formers writing this kind of tosh?

I do not know whether Hardman has children of her own, or whether she is content to hand them over to strangers to mind them for her. Maybe she hasn’t experienced the pain of leaving her baby every morning in a room with countless others, and maybe she doesn’t want her own husband, parents or in-laws to look after her children while she works.

But she should spare a thought for all those women whose dearest wish is to care for their own children, and who know that loving and caring cannot be so neatly divided. And she might also think of all those young children missing out on loving care, spending long “working” days away from their families.

Will they grow up to thank Isabel Hardman and her co-marchers for securing the “true gender equality” she craves? I think not.

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Jill Kirby
Jill Kirby
Jill Kirby is a freelance writer, commentator and policy analyst specialising in social policy

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